'F.R.I.E.N.D.S' reunion delayed due to coronavirus outbreak
Fans of F.R.I.E.N.D.S were on cloud nine after it was reported last month that their beloved onscreen companions were coming together for a one-off reunion episode. However, looks like one will have to wait a tad longer as the world's favorite sitcom joins a long line-up of production projects which have been stalled due to fears over the coronavirus pandemic.
Filming was supposed to take place in the coming week
According to a report in The Hollywood Reporter, the 25th-anniversary special was supposed to be filmed on Monday and Tuesday (March 23 and 24). However, the shoot has now been delayed until at least May, and might be pushed even further. The filming was set to take place at Stage 24 of Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank, where the entire series was shot.
Ben Winston to direct and executive-produce the special
The highly-anticipated unscripted special would see the reunion of the sitcom's core six cast members, i.e., Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer, along with series creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman. It will be directed by Ben Winston, who will also executive-produce it with Kevin Bright, Kauffman and Crane. The six actors will also executive-produce it.
Cast members to earn double their previous per episode fee
Further, the F.R.I.E.N.D.S reunion special is also a big business opportunity. For one, the uber-popular cast members would earn double the amount of their earlier per episode fee. In fact, they will be paid around $2.5-3 million for the special episode. It will arrive on the upcoming streaming platform HBO Max, launching in May.
'F.R.I.E.N.D.S' special joins line-up of projects that remain halted
The forthcoming special episode joins a long line-up of TV and movie production projects that have been stalled due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has so far claimed more than 9,000 lives around the world. Other major film productions that remain suspended owing to the deadly virus include the Avatar sequels, Mission: Impossible 7, a new Jurassic World movie, Matrix 4, and The Batman.